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  1. #1
    Registered User Nerdicide's Avatar
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    155 pounds and still high bodyfat

    Hey guys. I started losing weight over a year ago at 220 pounds, 5'9". Just hit 155 pounds this morning. I've been lifting more seriously for 4 months now, but its hard to progress much in my current deficit. I'm anxious to start my first bulk, but my body fat seems to still be very high. I'm scared that I'm going to have to go as low like 135 to reach my BF goal (12%) before I can start bulking. Should I just bulk now, so I have more muscle to cut to, or just keep cutting?

    I'm going to end up looking really skinny I think, if I try to get to 12% before bulking. Yet at the same time, I can't stand the idea of adding more fat to what I already have. Pictures attached.
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    Registered User russellmcg's Avatar
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    I am not a doctor by any stretch but I would recommend to continue cutting. From my understanding, limited so take with a grain of salt, it's way easier to lose now vs bulk up and then still have to cut even more. I will leave it up to people with more experience than myself but I would keep cutting if I were in your shoes.

    Awesome work though so far on the loss. That's some serious weight you have dropped and is very impressive!
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  3. #3
    Registered User BrennanMWhite's Avatar
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    1st - congrats on the weight loss.

    But honestly, I'm having a hard time seeing how you only weigh 155? I'm the same height and 50 lbs heavier...?

    Other than that, What are you eating? What's your training look like? You should be at a slight deficit as you have sufficient body fat to use for energy.
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    Registered User Nerdicide's Avatar
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    Originally Posted by BrennanMWhite View Post
    1st - congrats on the weight loss.

    But honestly, I'm having a hard time seeing how you only weigh 155? I'm the same height and 50 lbs heavier...?

    Other than that, What are you eating? What's your training look like? You should be at a slight deficit as you have sufficient body fat to use for energy.
    Thanks man. Yeah I know that's what bothers me. People see me with clothes on and comment that I'm too skinny! Its hard to see without something for scale in the pics, but I'm pretty small relative to other people. It's just the really high body fat that makes me look so ****ty with no shirt on.

    I'm eating at 1500 calories per day with around 100g of protein and 70g fat. For training, I started doing fierce 5, and was progressing fine but all of my lower body lifts had terrible form. So I went all the way back down to the bar on lower lifts, and am slowly increasing again while focusing on correct form.

    Edit: For example about my relative size, I wear 32" waist pants.
    Last edited by Nerdicide; 05-04-2017 at 03:24 PM.
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  5. #5
    HIT IT HARDER Watsonm5's Avatar
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    My 2 cents is to stay on Fierce 5 as the plan works and you will see some good gains. ALSO. do some HIIT 4 times a week max. You have tons of fat to burn so I would reassess your diet, TDEE and get spot on with measuring your food. Most people screw this up bigtime. You must be precise. Buy a scale and measure it! Carb up before you work and protein/carb (bread, potatoes, etc.) right after. Fuel the muscles with protein. I would go 1.5grams per body weight. I honestly think your caloric intake is way off. Dial that in better and do some serious HIIT which will burn a ton more calories. Your fat will disappear. Once you start to see abs go on a lean bulk but you have a ways to go before the abs start to show. Get to work and kick ass! And remember 90% of this is calories in vs. calories out.
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  6. #6
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    Bro, good job on the weight loss. Don't forget the basics like people have mentioned again. You should be taking a multivitamin, drinking about a gallon of water a day, and exercising 3-5 days a week.
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    Registered User spradish's Avatar
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    Good work on the cut so far!

    Do not bulk. If needed, eat at maintenance for a bit in order to feel more refreshed. Two weeks (more if needed, that's up to you) can help you regroup a bit and then get back to cutting calories. But I definitely wouldn't bulk.
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    Registered User Adare1's Avatar
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    I am also 5'9, and was once at your exact weight but looked nothing like you. It's either your scale sucks OR the quality of your food or somethin. What's your diet?
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    Registered User hhhshovel's Avatar
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    I'm surprised at how you look at that weight. I'm the same height as you and my goal was to get to 170 because I thought I'd be somewhat cut. I may have to go to 160 instead after seeing your pics. I do have more muscle than you I think
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    Registered User spradish's Avatar
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    If the OP has been cutting for a year and only lifting for four months he likely lost more muscle than necessary. Especially if he only recently has paid attention to protein intake.
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  11. #11
    Serpentarius's Avatar
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    lose another 15-20 lbs, dont even THINK about bulking. start lifting.
    There is always someone less fortunate, with real hunger, with real adversity, who made something of themselves. What is your excuse?
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  12. #12
    Registered User Nerdicide's Avatar
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    Update. Still cutting, 153 now. For those who said my scale must be broken, I've tested it with a 40 pound dumbbell and its working fine. When am I gonna know when its time to stop cutting? Like I said before, I'm anxious to bulk and build some muscle, but my body fat percent is still really high, despite now being 153 pounds at 5'9".

    Should I really go as low as 135-140 before my first bulk? I work with the public, and I literally get comments every single day, such as "You're wasting away to nothing you have to stop". Just yesterday I got "Have you been the doctor, are you sure everything is ok?". I don't really know how to respond to these comments anymore. I guess its because people are used to seeing the 220 pound me from a year ago? I've attached a few more pics. I guess with a shirt on I just look more thin than I actually am?
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    I don't think you should bulk but your number one priority should be to put on more muscle. It is difficult but possible to put on muscle while in a calorie deficit. Boost your hormones by getting stronger, reducing stress, getting enough sleep and getting your vitamins. Whatever you do keep going
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    definately keep cutting dude. you made a mistake of not lifting throughout your ENTIRE cut. Im around 202lb and of the same height, and I look like I have less fat than u.
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    progressive overload until stalled, in a DEFICIT. dont even think about bulking.
    There is always someone less fortunate, with real hunger, with real adversity, who made something of themselves. What is your excuse?
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    Registered User ComeOnFFS's Avatar
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    No one can say how low you can go or whether you can get to 12% before you look so terrible that you have to stop.

    Just aim to go as low as you can get away with, you won't know until you're there. I'd def keep going until you're around 145lbs without even asking for more advice. Then post pics and people here can help you reassess. That's when you might get a variety of reponses instead of everyone singing from the same sheet like now.

    Your face will look gaunt and the rest of you will look thin and possibly rather venous. But it's not permanent. You will reverse it eventually. And the next time you cut down you'll look a little bit better, and the next time a little bit better still.

    I was in a similar boat (not as heavy to begin with my did a cut without lifting.) I'm just maybe 1 or 2 cycles ahead of you now. With probably 1 or 2 away from being perfectly happy with how I look. So keep the faith man. We'll get there!
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  17. #17
    Above average Junsuiakai's Avatar
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    Originally Posted by Nerdicide View Post
    Update. Still cutting, 153 now. For those who said my scale must be broken, I've tested it with a 40 pound dumbbell and its working fine. When am I gonna know when its time to stop cutting? Like I said before, I'm anxious to bulk and build some muscle, but my body fat percent is still really high, despite now being 153 pounds at 5'9".

    Should I really go as low as 135-140 before my first bulk? I work with the public, and I literally get comments every single day, such as "You're wasting away to nothing you have to stop". Just yesterday I got "Have you been the doctor, are you sure everything is ok?". I don't really know how to respond to these comments anymore. I guess its because people are used to seeing the 220 pound me from a year ago? I've attached a few more pics. I guess with a shirt on I just look more thin than I actually am?
    People project their own insecurities on you, when they tell you those things. Don't let it bother you, and yeah I'd agree, you could afford to lose another 10-15lbs of fat, or what might be against what everybody else is saying. You might want to try and eat maintenance calories and get on a good lifting program.

    I went from 250 to 180, not counting calories, just eating a lot of food and lifting every other day, for about 6 months.

    When I cut down to 155, I feel like I'm approaching skeleton status now, same height.

    but yeah if you do continue to cut, I reckon 140lb would be a good ending point.
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    Registered User numberguy12's Avatar
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    153 at 5'9 is considered well within normal range with a bmi of 22.6. Heck I'm approaching 155 at 6'3, and this is still considered a normal bmi. I've also had people comment about being too thin, but honestly I think people-especially in the US- have a skewed concept of what underweight really is.

    This being said, with so much weight lost in a year, I would be consulting a professional.
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  19. #19
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    Keep at it, in the last three weeks since you started this thread you have lost another 2 lbs and to be honest, your stomach overhang seems considerably less even with just 2 lbs gone.
    Maybe it will be another 5 lbs, maybe 10, nobody knows. All you can do is go by what the mirror shows, and I'm sorry, but even now, lift that tshirt up and you clearly aren't wasting away. Ignore the haters, you know what you want to look like and nobody else, stay true to the course.

    Finally, just my thought, but sort your posture out. If you stand there letting it all hang out then of course it will look worse than it is.
    Straighten your back and at least engage your core. You may not have much muscle mass underneath but you don't need to be "bulking" to at least engage your muscles and start using them.

    Looking forward to seeing you check-in in another month or so.
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  20. #20
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    BMI is not very useful.
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    Having never seen you before looking at this thread, I don't think you look overly thin. Your friends/family are just used to seeing you bigger. It takes time to get used to seeing somebody smaller. Somebody at work recently lost a significant amount of weight and looks good (she's even been lifting) but I still do a mental double take every time I see her because I am not used to her being smaller.
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    Originally Posted by ComeOnFFS View Post
    BMI is not very useful.
    Explain? As long as someone is not absolutely jacked, yes I do think it can be of use. It's not the end all by any means, but it is what is currently used by many physicians as a baseline for determining healthy weight.
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    Originally Posted by numberguy12 View Post
    Explain? As long as someone is not absolutely jacked, yes I do think it can be of use. It's not the end all by any means, but it is what is currently used by many physicians as a baseline for determining healthy weight.
    My BMI says i'm overweight. I've been in the lower middle end of "obese" before while still seeing abs.

    Its only useful for analysing populations, certainly not for athletes and people with above average muscle mass.
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    Originally Posted by chamelious View Post
    My BMI says i'm overweight. I've been in the lower middle end of "obese" before while still seeing abs.

    Its only useful for analysing populations, certainly not for athletes and people with above average muscle mass.
    No question it is not a super accurate statistic for an athlete. However, for many people, it can be of use as a place to start in determining healthy weight. Especially when you are at the lower end of the bmi spectrum vs higher.
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    Originally Posted by numberguy12 View Post
    No question it is not a super accurate statistic for an athlete. However, for many people, it can be of use as a place to start in determining healthy weight. Especially when you are at the lower end of the bmi spectrum vs higher.
    I'm overweight according to bmi as well... lol and my girlfriend's normal bmi runs from 52kg to 70kg... she is around 58kg right now, bmi is bogus.
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    Originally Posted by Serpentarius View Post
    progressive overload until stalled, in a DEFICIT. dont even think about bulking.
    This ^^^. 4 months of lifting (in a deficit at that) has helped a little, but I'm guessing OP didn't have much muscle to "protect" in the cut to start with and he lost a good portion of that in the first 8 months of his diet when he wasn't lifting. Too much fat to bulk just yet.
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    Originally Posted by chamelious View Post
    Its only useful for analysing populations, certainly not for athletes and people with above average muscle mass.
    Right. BMI is based on populations. People with above/below healthy BMIs belong to populations who are more likely to be at risk of certain illnesses. It doesn't mean that they definitely have those issues, just that they are at more risk of having them. It's more of a screening tool and not a diagnostic tool. And yes, tall and athletic/muscular people are outliers.

    That being said, I think that for people who have been overweight/obese for a long time and really don't know what a good goal weight is but feel the need to have one, the top healthy weight per BMI is a good general goal. As they get near it or hit it, they can transition more to body composition or "how do I look in the mirror" type goals.
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    Okay guys, thanks for all the replies. Yes I am still lifting on fierce 5. I have a barbell, bench, plates, and power rack in my basement. No stalls yet, but like I said earlier I had to reset all my lower body lifts back to bar to fix really bad form issues.

    So now I'm at 105 Bench, 105 Row, 90 OHP, Body pull-ups... but only 95 Squat/RDL/Front squat. Obviously with fierce 5 progression model they will get back up there pretty soon. The most exciting thing has been that I'm now able to do pull ups for the first time in my life (only 5-4-4 reps).

    So yeah... continue cutting is the unanimous verdict. I'll make an update in a couple months, when I reach 145.
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    Honestly I think you'll start looking good at around 130ish personally. I'm 6'2" and I sometimes go up to around 205 but generally cut down to around 170ish. Most people describe me as huge and muscular at 170, which obviously isn't the case compared to serious lifters. At your height and without much mass you'll still have a lot of belly fat at 140.
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    Originally Posted by Junsuiakai View Post
    I'm overweight according to bmi as well... lol and my girlfriend's normal bmi runs from 52kg to 70kg... she is around 58kg right now, bmi is bogus.
    We are in essence talking past each other. It is obviously the case that bmi is not as useful with somebody who is a bodybuilder and has large muscle mass. Note all the examples given above attempting to discredit bmi are of this nature. This does not mean it is bogus for other, more normal situations. There are better measures, sure, such as bvi or body fat % for some issues, but as a starting point for a guy without tons of muscle mass, bmi can be informative (those other measures are more complicated and, in fact, we don't have that info from OP).

    I don't want to create a tangent with the bmi issue. If anything there is a general agreement that OP has some room to lose- that was my point in my first post. Now if he came in here with bmi of, say 17, nobody here would be saying to lose weight.

    In any case, you have lost a lot of weight in a year so far, and I would still advise consulting a professional OP, not just an online forum.
    Last edited by numberguy12; 05-25-2017 at 10:51 AM.
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